Track has always been serious business for Enochs High graduate Claire Seymour, and it only promises to grow in intensity.
Soon Seymour will depart for Brigham Young University, where the former Sac-Joaquin Section Masters champion in the 400 meter race will focus on the 800.
“Track is typically pretty serious for me,” she said. “I’m going to college for it, and my dad is huuuge into track, so it’s always serious.”
Except when it’s not.
Seymour picked two dates in the spring to add a little levity to her training and competition demands. She and a teammate skipped during their legs of the 4x400 against Davis, a program without a relay team, and then she took to the Internet for her second act.
In the weeks leading up to a season-ending meet against Beyer, another Modesto Metro Conference program without a team in the 4x400, Seymour challenged the Twitter-verse: If her post received 200 retweets, she would run the relay in Crocs, a casual shoe made of a soft molded material that challenges its fans to “find your fun” in each pair.
She found her fun, all right.
Twitter called her bluff.
In the video, Seymour took the baton from a teammate and completed a lap at Beyer High in 1 minute, 11 seconds — well off her winning pace of 55.65 seconds at the 2016 Masters. As she made her way down the home stretch, teammates could be heard cheering her in: “Claire in Crocs! Claire in Crocs!”
“It was really fun,” Seymour said. “As I was going around, people were saying, ‘She’s wearing Crocs. What is she doing? What is she doing?’ My whole team was supportive … even though I was running in Crocs.”
Seymour said she was mindful of her opponents. She didn’t want her moments of fun to be misconstrued as a slight, so she planned each act for a meet against a program without a 4x400 team.
“My dad wanted me to be careful; he wanted to make sure I wasn’t being disrespectful when doing these things,” she said. “I didn’t want it to be offensive or like a slap in the face. Both times, they (Davis and Beyer) didn’t have teams and I told (Beyer) I was going to run in Crocs. The Beyer people were even talking and laughing, so it was a good time.”
Although she did have some shin pain the next day.
“It was a lot harder. Here in Modesto, we have dirt tracks, so I slipped around a lot,” Seymour said. “I definitely felt it in my shins the next day, but it was a lot of fun. It was totally not normal. … It was my senior year, so it was like, ‘Now is the time to do crazy things.’ I won’t be able to do that in college.”